In the lead up to kick off he will be doing nothing other than infusing his staff with positive thoughts for their biggest game of 2016.
“It will be difficult, but not impossible,” La Volpe said as he sat down to talk with MARCA.
How does America face the match against Real Madrid?
“With respect, of course.
“If we respected the Korean team, on which we had a lot of information, how can we not respect Real Madrid.
“Despite that, we will try to win and make history.
“If I play defensively, we will lose 1-0 or 2-0, however, if we attack them, we will see what we are made of.”
They have some of the best players in the world.
“We know who Cristiano Ronaldo is, who [Toni] Kroos is, who [Luka] Modric is, and I respect all of them, however, they are human beings.
“As [Diego] Simeone told me once, if the spaces on the pitch are reduced to about 20 metres, the technical and tactical differences are not so great.
“There may be great play, yes, but many goals come from mistakes more than skills.
“We know who we are going to face, but let’s see what happens.”
We can see you’re really sure about your chances.
“I saw Real in Warsaw and they did not play well, the match against Deportivo, just the same.
“They were losing 2-1, then that goal from Sergio Ramos.
“Ramos is a doubt? Real may think they are already going to the final and reserve him.”
Can him not playing be an advantage?
“I don’t think so, because if he doesn’t play, they have other players too, like Varane and Pepe.
“They could lose leadership, but Madrid have great players on the bench too.”
Could it benefit you with Real being the favourite?
“After playing against Japan in 2005 during the Confederations Cup, we met Brazil and Argentina.
“It was the Brazil with Ronaldinho and Kaka too, yet with all those players it was Mexico who controlled the game.
“I am going to try to take the ball away from Real, the coaches are there to bring solutions.
“Sometimes I speak more about Barcelona than Madrid, as in my opinion Guardiola changed many things.
“He brought a system that was dead, alive again.
“In the 70s, the 4-3-3 was used and Argentina won the World Cup in 1978 with a 4-3-3, even if I didn’t play.
“That system disappeared in the World Cup in Spain but Guardiola recovered it in 2009 because he had the players to do it! That’s why, I say the coach has a significant influence.”
And what do you think of Zinedine Zidane?
“He is smart. He realised things and brought them to the team.
“He learned how to talk to the players and I can see that he has more ideas and experience also in changing the system each time. He knows what he wants.
“The intelligence of the coaches is how to make the most of each player, convincing them to run as a discipline. With individualism you cannot win games.”
Do you see football as more balanced now?
“What Atletico does, you could do.
“Look at Simeone, who gave to the team the strength of fighting.
“It’s going to be a good game, very difficult but not impossible. Nothing is impossible.”
What is the strength of Real Madrid?
“In my opinion, the potential they have going forward. They are at a different level.
“Just to look at what Ronaldo, Benzema, Kroos and Isco do…
“We need team-work. I have to transfer to my players how to play in 20 metres, cutting down the spaces.
“At the same time you have to send a message: Let’s see what Cristiano and Madrid do when they do not have the ball. I know where we can hurt them.”
So, a quick recipe to win against Real?
“Great teamwork because if we play one against one, I don’t see any chances.
“We need to play with more effort and more heart, nothing more.”